Filipinos in Belgium

Filipinos in Belgium
Total population
12,224 (2012 est.)[1]
Tagalog, other languages of the Philippines, Dutch, French
Roman Catholicism
Related ethnic groups
Filipino people, Overseas Filipino

Filipinos in Belgium comprise migrants from the Philippines to Belgium and their descendants living there. While the Belgian National Institute of Statistics has 3,067 Filipinos officially registered,[2] the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) estimated that there are 12,224 Filipinos in Belgium in December 2013.[1]


Filipinos in Belgium work primarily as tradesmen, in the hospitality industry, as domestic workers, or as seamen on Belgian-flagged ships.[2][3] A number of Filipino international students also attend Belgian institutions of higher education, but are considered "temporary migrants."[2] Gender-wise, most Filipinos in Belgium are female, amount to roughly 60% of the population.[2]

The Philippine Embassy in Belgium considers "limited employment opportunities, illegal residency status and fraudulent documentation" to be the largest issues facing the Filipino community in Belgium.[4] Of the 12,224 Filipinos estimated to be living in Belgium, the CFO estimates that 5,000 (40.9%) are "irregular" or living without legal residency status,[1][5] while 6,840 (56.0%) and 384 (3.1%) Filipinos have "permanent" and "temporary" status, respectively.[1]


In 2012, Filipinos in Belgium officially sent a total of approximately $62.0 million USD in remittances back to the Philippines (US$32.3 land-based and US$19.8 sea-based), after a peak of $63.4 million USD in remittances in 2010.[6] This figure accounts for 0.28% of all remittances sent to the Philippines.[6] Three Filipino banks have correspondent accounts with banks in Norway to allow for remittance transfers.[7]

Society and culture

In addition to the Philippine Embassy in Brussels and a consulate in Antwerp, there are about seventy Filipino associations in Belgium to serve different needs of the Filipino-Belgian community, many of which are coordinated by the Council of Filipino Associations in Belgium (COFAB) or the Council of Filipino Associations in Flanders (COFAF).[2] There are general regional-based, sporting, service-oriented, and cultural organizations, as well as organizations for native Belgians married to Filipino spouses. In addition, there are four chapters of the Knights of Rizal, a fraternal organization.[2]

The Philippine Embassy in Brussels organizes events around major Filipino holidays, including the Philippine Independence Day and Christmas, that attract thousands of Filipinos from Belgium and neighboring nations such as Luxembourg.[8][9][10]

Fast-food Giants Jollibee is soon to Open in Belgium.

Notable people


  1. ^ a b c d "Stock Estimate of Overseas Filipinos" (PDF). Commission on Filipinos Overseas. December 2012. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Filipinos in Belgium". Philippine Embassy in Belgium. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
  3. ^ "A Brief History of the Union". AMOSUP. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
  4. ^ Santos, Matikas (12 July 2013). "PH, Belgium sign accord to boost investment, trade, immigration". Philippine Daily Enquirer. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
  5. ^ "Highlights of the 2011 Stock Estimate of Filipinos Overseas". Commission on Filipinos Overseas. 7 January 2013. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
  6. ^ a b "Overseas Filipinos' Cash Remittances" (PDF). Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. 2012. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
  7. ^ "Philippine Banks With Remittance Networks Abroad" (PDF). Scalabrini Migration Center. p. 1. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
  8. ^ "Phl Ambassador Hosts Reception in Brussels to Commemorate 115th Anniversary of Philippine Independence". Department of Foreign Affairs. 28 June 2013. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
  9. ^ "Philippine Independence Day 2010". Philippine Embassy in Belgium. 17 June 2010. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
  10. ^ "Philippine Embassy in Brussels Hosts 3nd [sic] Assembly of Filipino Community Leaders". Department of Foreign Affairs. 30 September 2013. Retrieved 10 January 2014.

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